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bware21

The Blame Game

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Okay, this post could be long but I won't apologize this time. It was prompted by a response from Jamie at JYOUNG20 to my "two stories" post, who simply wrote: "Bill, you are awesome."

As much as I appreciated the sentiment behind the comment, it made me more than a little uncomfortable and triggered a thought process that led -- in a roundabout way -- to the meat of this post. And here it is:

A few times, though not as often as I would have expected, I've read posts that mention smoking. At the risk of alienating some, angering others, and exposing myself as the flawed character that I am, here's my deal:

I've been a smoker for 41 years. Now I have lung cancer. And what does that mean? I brought it on myself and it's my own fault? Sure, that's a valid statement and one that I have no reasonable argument with. But like most things in life there's a flip side that is often missed, ignored or just plain denied.

I'm a writer. I've spent thousands of hours sitting in front of manual typewriters, word processors, and now damn computers. Even though I haven't smoked in the house for over 10 years, I used to spend most of my time in a smoke-filled room in the wee hours of the morning with an endless supply of cigarettes and coffee. And let me tell you, they were some of the best times of my life -- and the most productive. I was in my own little paradise, making stuff up and experiencing places and things that didn't exist except in my head. The coffee and cigarettes were the fuel that kept the midnight oil burning. So, now I have cancer and I regret all that -- right? Wrong. There's not a thing I would change. Nothing. It's what made me who I am, and why on earth would I want to be anyone other than me?

Is smoking to blame for my cancer? Probably, but it's a moot point and I frankly don't care. It could just as easily be heart failure I'm dealing with, and what should I blame for that? Or maybe I trip on the stairs tomorrow, tumble down and break my neck. Are the stairs to blame or my lack of concentration? Either way, my neck is still broken.

Am I justifying my smoking habit? Let me show you a side to my flawed character that might provide an answer. When I got the "offical" diagnosis of lung cancer I immediately quit smoking -- a typical panic response. Then a few days went by and I was really struggling. Not only was I expected to deal with the whole cancer thing, but deal with it as a stranger unto myself. I wasn't me anymore. I was just this diseased person who's mind was lost in the fog. So, I had a cigarette ... and that's when the really heavy emotional s**t came down. For the first time in my life I felt utterly helpless and a complete failure. Forget cancer -- I could deal with that. But I couldn't deal with the reality that my smoking had elevated its role in my life from a mere habit to an almost demonic force. I mean, how in the hell could anyone have lung cancer and still smoke? Well, I went through a couple of weeks of nightmarish feelings of guilt and shame ... then decided enough was enough. I just couldn't keep beating myself up all the time, and the whole dastardly thing was draining my energy -- something I needed to combat the cancer side of my problems. Anyway, I made a decision right there and then that I would just continue to smoke, make whatever effort I could to quit, but never again judge myself for my failings. Have I quit smoking -- no. Do I think about it every day -- yes. And that's where it stands.

Some of you may think I have a death wish. Let me assure you, nothing could be further from the truth. I'm in the middle of remodeling the house. Just a few months ago I laid over 38,000 lbs of concrete, bucket-by-bucket -- and that's while I was coughing up blood. I have way too much unfinished business before I lay down and die. I want to beat this as much as any one of you out there, but I also know that my best chance for survival is to beat it by staying true to myself. I pray every day for the strength to quit smoking, and I've become a master of hypocrasy (I tell everyone I can why they should quit). What I don't do is play the blame game, because that's exactly what it is -- a game ... where there are no winners.

So what or who is to blame for my cancer? The answer is blindingly simple -- nothing and no-one, not even me.

This will have to be my "last post" (excuse the pun) for a while as I'm falling behind with my work.

Bill

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Hi Bill,

It took some guts to admit to all of that. Even though I don't necessarily agree with smoking while undergoing treatment, I still appreciate you honesty and salute you for your integrity. Good luck and God Bless.

Laurie

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"bware21"]Okay, this post could be long but I won't apologize this time. It was prompted by a response from Jamie at JYOUNG20 to my "two stories" post, who simply wrote: "Bill, you are awesome."

As much as I appreciated the sentiment behind the comment, it made me more than a little uncomfortable and triggered a thought process that led -- in a roundabout way -- to the meat of this post.

Bill, to smoke or not to smoke is a personal choice. Whatever you choose, we are not here to judge. We understand that once you have lung cancer, how you got it is a moot point. I wonder why you were uncomfortable with one of our members saying "you are awesome". Is it impossible to be awesome if you are a smoker?

We can play the blame game until we are blue in the face, but there are no winners. As my Dad told me upon diagnosis, "it is what it is". Before his diagnosis my Dad prayed to God to help him quit smoking but left the Lord with an addendum "but please don't kill me". A month later an X-ray showed he had a mass, he smoked for a couple of days after until he received his biopsy. Once the incision was made into his tumor, he quit a fifty year habit, not wanting to feed the open sore.

I'll second Jamie's sentiment and say, yes, Bill you are awesome and we love your writing!

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Laurie -- I don't agree with smoking while undergoing treatment either. In fact, I don't agree with smoking period -- hence the hypocrasy on my part. I would hate for anyone to have misunderstood what I was saying and think that I advocated smoking under any circumstances. I was simply relating *my* situation, not for a moment suggesting that I'm right -- just clarifying :)

Sheri -- you're Dad and I must have a psychic connection as my favourite saying throughout this entire sordid situation has been: "IT IS WHAT IT IS." How strange for me to see those same words in your post :o

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Bill,

I understand what you're saying, and identify with it. I also admire your honesty. I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but "it is what it is" is one of my favorite concepts as well. I hope that you catch up on your work and get back to us. mc

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Cancer robs us of so much if we let it. It takes our health, our sense of well-being, our blind faith in the world, our emotions, at times our hope, and even sometimes our hair. It shouldn't take the essence of who we are.

You are who you are, Bill. Don't lose that.

Keep writing.

:) Kelly

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Bill & Sheri,

You ready for this one? Funny about that saying.

My mom was in an assisted living home and when my mom and her friends from there sat around in their comfy area room after their dinner they would always say that "It is what it is" and I really never heard that saying except from there.

My mom passed almost 2 years ago, I never heard the expression or thought about it since that time. That was until tonight. I don't mean in this post. I was watching TV and I was looking at the poinsettias that I bought. My mom loved them so I was felt so sad all of a sudden and really missed her when that saying just pop into my mind, "It is what it is".

I just came upstairs and came on here to read the posts and walla... Bill's post.

Wow how freaky is that.... :shock:

I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone.

I wonder if that means anything....

Bill you are a writer, you have any ideas? By the way is there anything published we may have read, or would you just like to stay anonymous which trust me we understand on here. But you do look familiar, to me anyway.

I really freaked out here :roll:

Maryanne :wink:

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I'm refreshed by your openess and understand well where you are coming from. Lung cancer has been a part of my family and my life for over 4 years now and doing what I do, I see many perspectives and the unique opportunity to know people affected by this disease and get to know them, their personal circumstances and views.

What we all have in common is the desire to beat this disease, to see people survive it, support others who are embarking this cancer journey.

It is what it is and what you make of it is your own!

Post when you can. I'll be looking forward to it.

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Bill, I too totally understand what your saying. I too say the catch phraise "It is, what it is".

I agree with Sheri in that we are not here to judge you for smoking or not for smoking. How you got your lung cancer is totally irrelvent at this point, what is relevent is we are here to offer you hope and support. I look at it this way, We got it for what ever reason, and now we have to treat it, and doing so we hope for the best.

Your honesty is honorable and well apprecitated.

I hope you'll stay with us and offer hope and support to all those that will stumble across us or find the need to look us up.

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Bill,

Thank you for this post. Your honesty is refreshing. Although I quit with my diagnosis, I did not quit for myself. I quit for my family as I knew I could not put them through my cancer journey and continue smoking. Had they not been part of my life, I would have continued smoking throughout because that is who I am.

I smoked for 27 years. The only regret I have is the fact that I needed to start smoking at age 13 to look cool. I wish I had never started. But the rest of the years were for me also very productive, studying late into the night or working late with the cigarettes and coffee to keep me going. I loved my habit so much that I told my husband that when I finally die, I want a carton of Marlboro buried with me. I will miss them always.

I hope at some point you can find the strenghth to quit smoking as it is absolutely bad for you. But did it cause our cancers, I don't believe that entirely..There is much more to lung cancer than the researchers have bothered to figure out because they seem to think the entire answer is in the tobacco.

Lilly

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Bill,

I hope you catch up on your work, because I look forward to your writing. Your post touched me.

As you know my husband Alan was DX almost 2 years ago

and like you quit smoking that day, however, Alan went back to smoking soon after

and has smoked ever since. I struggled with his choice at first, believing he was robbing

us of time together, but I soon realized that loving

Alan meant accepting what he wanted to do with his life. We now just enjoy every single moment we have

together, what comes comes.

Thank you Bill for sharing yourself with us.

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Maryanne,

It doesn't surprise me in the least that I'm not the only one to use the phrase, "It Is What It Is." I started using these words first with my wife, Teri -- from the onset of my diagnosis, and then with anyone else who might ask me how I'm feeling or how I'm dealing with it. It's my stock answer because for me it sums up the entire situation and my place in it. Although I own some of the power to beat this disease -- emotionally, spiritually and physically -- I don't own all of it. It is what it is because my creator has the final say. I had no personal choice when I came into this world, and I'm pretty darn sure I'll have none when I leave it. For me, death is just a question of timing. I joke somtimes that the train may be in the station ... but I have no intention of getting on it -- at least not yet.

But to address your surprise that other people use the same phrase, here's my explanation for what's going on: In 1981 I decided to write a book about the life of Rudolf Höss, the camp commandant of Auschwitz. Now, there had already been a few books written about him, but all targeted at the atrocities that were committed in the camp. My idea was to write about his family life -- bear in mind that Höss lived in a house within the confines of the main camp with his wife and children. I thought it would be interesting to see how this guy could live a seemingly normal life while managing the systematic slaughter of millions of people within spitting distance of his back garden. So off I trot to Oswiecim-Brezinka (Auschwitz-Birkenau being the German interpretation) in Poland to start my research. 40 years had gone by since Auschwitz was in full swing and the idea to write this book popped in my head ... and no similar book had ever been written in all that time. Lo and behold, about 6 months later I switch on the TV and find myself watching an interview with a German author who had just finished his new book about the family life of Rudolf Höss. Needless to say, I invested no more time and money in the project. I'm getting to the point, so bear with me. A half dozen years later I had another "brilliant" idea for a book, based on a true story that happened in 1957 in Wisconsin. So off I go again, this time across the Atlantic, to start the research process. Again, about 6 months later (6 months must be the cutoff point) I get a call from the agent I was dealing with in Chicago informing me that a book was coming to market that told the same story I was working on. So what's the point here? Well, it got me thinking -- I come up with an idea that hadn't been thought of in 40 years, then I come up with another idea that hadn't been thought of in 25 years, and both times I get beaten to the finish line by two people I had never met and who lived in different countries. So who had these ideas first? And more interestingly, *why* did these ideas come into being at approximately the same time? There was only one logical explanation I could come up with -- at some level all human beings must share the same consciousness and as individuals we simply tap into that "energy" source without ever realizing it. Might explain why Egyptians and Mayans were building pyramids thousands of years ago even though the silly buggers had never met each other. Of course, the downside to this argument is that there can't ever be such a thing as an original idea :)

Bill

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I could give a long history of my family that smoked for 60+ years and never developed even a smokers cough much less cancer. Alot of things are to blame for this but smoking is the most immediate and tangable culprate to grab and strangle. Try and strangle a hot exhaust pipe ... I dare ya!

My Dad hasn't stopped smoking, nor have myself (severely cut back in a small attempt) or my two sisters. Nor has my cousin with lung cancer or her siblings ....... Why? I don't know for the rest, but for me and my Dad (we've talked and he concurs). Smoking is our "blankie", it provides us comfort and a faithful friend to always depend on. That's a feeling all of us need right now .... maybe later when things aren't as demanding and we can find our comfort more constructively we'll all quit. Oh my, my family, my work, everyone and everything that demands something of me everyday .... and excuse? No! My reality and struggle with quitting ... Yes!

Tammy

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Maryanne,

"It is what it is" -- Tony has said that from the get-go. When I start to Monday morning quarterback he stops me short with "It is what it is."

Bill --

Thanks for your candor. I'll be candid too -- I still smoke. Yup, with a husband with stage IV nsclc and my friend and smoking buddy who died in September from sclc, I'm still at it. Many ask my relatives behind my back what the heck I'm doing, but for me it truly is a moot (:D) point. I know I should quit -- that's like the biggest "duh" in the world, but right now I'm too stressed to even think about it. I also can easily rationalize that I've smoked longer than my husband ever did and his quitting didn't help him a damn bit. All the old lies about your lungs being fine in 10 years after quitting were just that... lies. (Note: I smoke outside and have for over 14 years. We also installed fancy air filtration devices on our furnace to keep the house air cleaner for his lungs.)

My friend very quickly said she wouldn't beat herself up for bringing on her disease as what would the point be? I was glad she adopted that attitude because you surely could make yourself crazy and the cancer is crazy enough in itself.

Just another .2

Welthy

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Bill,

I respect your candor and I love your attitude. I agree that it isn't important how we got lung cancer. What is important is how we get rid of it. I was a long time smoker, who quit at diagnosis. I lost my mom 15 yrs ago to SCLC, and people used to ask "Why are you still smoking?" I am also a Respiratory Therapist so I should know better. Well I did know better, but the addiction was so very powerful for me that I was not able to stop. I even got to the point where I really wasn't enjoying the cigarettes anymore but still could not stop. Then my oldest son got Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in his sinus and had a horrific two years before eventually losing his battle with this demon. During this time my smoking escalated to 2 sometimes 3 packs a day, and I was diagnosed myself 4 months after my son's passing. It still was not easy for me to quit, but the week in the hospital gave me a jump start, and my kids (ages 17 & 12), my grandkids who I have legal custody of (ages 4 & 2) gave me what I needed to get through the withdrawl. I am a widow and these kids have only me to depend on - and I decided that I was going to do everything in my power not to let this disease beat me. I did it for them. So far my treatment has worked well, and I am in remission and I feel pretty good. I pray that your treatment works as well for you and that you are able to quit smoking in the near future. Keep trying and stay strong!

Sharon

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Hi Bill

I do not know you, and actully your post is one of the first I have read after a long absence from this board. I felt compelled to respond first because even after watching my Mom suffer thru lung cancer and Copd I still stepped outside and smoked a cigarette while caring for her. Knowing that it was breaking her heart that her child could one day end up just as she was. It wasnt enough to make me quit. My youngest child despises smoking, always has, just last week she send me a text message telling me all she wants for Christmas is for me to quit smoking. You have to know a bit about her in that she has lost her father 10 yrs ago, her very dearest aunt in the world, 4 yrs ago, her brother 4 months ago and now her grandmother last month. I am sure she thinks constantly that I too am going to be taken from her next and then she truly will be alone. Is that enough for me? I dont know. It is enough that I am going to try. Do I want to quit? I dont think so, I am not sure, I think sometimes I have never tried to quit as I am afraid of failing at it. I have failed at so many things in life, I just never wanted this to be another thing Kim couldnt do. I am a smoker, always have been. Not proud of it, and wish I wasnt. but as you so aptly put it..It is what it is....a saying I have come to use often in the recent deaths of my son and mother as no other words fit so well.

I look forward to reading more of your posts and also am wondering as someone else was, is there anything published of yours that we might put our hands on and read?

God bless

Kim

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Hey Kim,

I really do empathise with you about the smoking. I'm very lucky -- I'm one of the few smokers in my immediate family. Once I can get my brother-in-law's son and his wife to quit then that will be it -- I'll be the only one. Our son and daughter do not and have never smoked. In an odd way, I think the fact that I smoked like a bloody chimney my entire life helped them to resist the peer pressure and stay well away from it. Of course, that doesn't guarantee anything for them in this world. In my opinion the environment is so polluted and the way we live our lives is so utterly reckless that none of us is safe. Smoking is the obvious scapegoat for lung cancer (I've lived like a leper for the past 15 years), so what are the scapegoats for everything else? Just sitting here in front of this computer monitor is doing me harm. If it's not the electromagnetic radiation from the screen bouncing around my body at the celluar level, I know for a fact it's dulled my eyesight and continues to cause me back problems. Then there are the hormones in my food, the acid rain dumping toxic waste from anywhere and everywhere in my back garden, the ever-growing array of wireless transmissions, etc. etc. etc. I guess it all comes down to the cost of progress. But back to you, Kim -- I know exactly how you feel. I know the feelings of guilt and the feelings of shame all too well. But there's something very important that you must acknowledge and that is *you* are not responsible for the decisions of others. If other people in your family made the decision to smoke, it was *their* decision and you cannot take on the burden of others (as much as you'd like to). Free will and all that good stuff -- it's what makes us who we are. Now, having said that, I've decided that I would like to quit smoking. Not because I think by doing so will cure me of anything, but when I do beat this cancer thing I think it will give me a much better shot at keeping it at bay. So tomorrow I'm going to start my own little regimen. I know for a fact that nicotine patches and all of the other aids won't do me any good whatsoever -- been there, done that. The only way I will ever quit smoking will be by employing my own free will. From tomorrow morning and for the following week I will limit my smoking to one cigarette every hour from 9:00AM -- can't smoke before that -- which should cut my habit down to about 12 cigarettes a day for the first week (I normally smoke 20). The subsequent Saturdays I will increase the no-smoking period to 90 minutes, 2 hours, 150 minutes, 3 hours, 210 minutes, 4 hours ... until I'm down to nothing. I think that's a reasonable plan and I hope I can find the strength to achieve it. CARE TO JOIN ME? But if you do you must be willing to be honest about your progress (or lack of it). And if anyone else wants to join me, the more the merrier. For me, I just think it's time to take some action :D

You're the second person to ask me if I've had anything published. Without seeming to criticize the question (curiosity is a natural trait in all living things), let me answer it this way -- and if my response gets long-winded, no surprise as everything I've written on this site could be considered over-kill :D

But before I answer your question, I need to stress that I'm not here to promote myself. Nor am I here to create a "mystery" character. I'm here because I have lung cancer and because my wife, Teri, was lucky enough to find this site. I write as much as I do because it's therapeutic for me and I hope in some small way that my experience(s) will help at least one other person. If not, then it still helps me. Anyway ...

Whenever I meet new people (and this must be the same for eveyone), one of the first questions I hear is: "So, what do you do for a living?" As if what I do for a living defines who I am. If I answered that I'm a writer the follow-up question would always be the same: "So, have you had anything published?" And so the chit-chat would go on. I changed my response to that initial question years ago to something a little more humourous, albeit an immediate conversation-killer: "I do as little as possible for as much as possible." I don't think I've ever had a follow-up question to that, though I've seen more than a few raised eyebrows.

But to answer your question and dispel any mystery, I've had moderate success as a writer and yes, I've been published. Though she'd never admit it, Teri has probably had more "success" as a photographer than I've had as a writer. Just go to www.womeninphotography.org -- though it's tricky to navigate. For me, my best achievement, if you want to call it that, was to share the same print space where A.A. Milne first published Winnie the Pooh -- The London Evening News (now defunct). But that was a long time ago. I came to L.A. because I had this idiotic idea that Hollywood needed some good stories. I was embroiled in that scene for a few years but could tolerate it no longer, so I opted out. I have just one project floating around out there that I'm reasonably proud of and it may or may not eventually appear on a screen near you :) I refuse to get involved in "Hollywood" negotiations anymore but there is a chance it will find its way to film stock even without my involvement. It's called The Water Tower. However, should this cancer get me in the meantime I accept no responsibility for the quality of the finished product -- I can't imagine it will remotely resemble what I had in mind :(

I haven't written in a few years now. Instead I've been having fun demolishing the house and attempting to rebuild it -- so much more rewarding. I hope that answers your question somewhat.

Now, if you want to talk achievement. In my opinion, the young couple who started this Web site deserve a pat on the back from everyone. When their father died they could just as easily have let it go and got on with their lives. Instead, they followed a calling and acted on it. Now look at the result -- so many people suffering who have been given a pipeline to each other that would otherwise have not existed. Any fool can get a book published (just look at some of the garbage that's out there), but it takes a special kind of effort and dedication to produce something as meaningful as this. It's only through their unselfishness that we are able to talk.

Bill

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Bill,

You are absolutely right that only you can determine to stop smoking. I stopped smoking many times, sometimes as long as a year. I don’t know if this would help you, but here’s what I did. I started to associate smoking with being sick to my stomach and eventually I became one of those nuts that used to drive me crazy when I was a smoker. I would get nausea when ever I get near second hand smoke and still do. That was over 30 years ago. Anything is worth a try.

Sty positive, :lol:

Ernie

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"bware21"]Hey Kim,

I've decided that I would like to quit smoking. Not because I think by doing so will cure me of anything, but when I do beat this cancer thing I think it will give me a much better shot at keeping it at bay. So tomorrow I'm going to start my own little regimen. I know for a fact that nicotine patches and all of the other aids won't do me any good whatsoever -- been there, done that. The only way I will ever quit smoking will be by employing my own free will. From tomorrow morning and for the following week I will limit my smoking to one cigarette every hour from 9:00AM -- can't smoke before that -- which should cut my habit down to about 12 cigarettes a day for the first week (I normally smoke 20). The subsequent Saturdays I will increase the no-smoking period to 90 minutes, 2 hours, 150 minutes, 3 hours, 210 minutes, 4 hours ... until I'm down to nothing. I think that's a reasonable plan and I hope I can find the strength to achieve it. CARE TO JOIN ME? But if you do you must be willing to be honest about your progress (or lack of it). And if anyone else wants to join me, the more the merrier. For me, I just think it's time to take some action :D

Bill

This excites me... Kim or anyone are you up for Bill's challange?

I am pushing for you Bill and anyone who wants to join him. What a great gift for yourself for the holidays!!

We will help you. Like our own little AA meeting..

Anyone out there willing to join Bill. I am not a smoker but I certaily can lend support!

I hope we get some takers here. Also very important especially to you Kim and anyone who wants to do this, no one is going to think you a loser if you do not succeed, not here. No Way! But I pray that you try. Make it a project for yourself. You don't have to tell your family. Do it for yourself. You deserve it. When the time comes that you beat this cigarette demon, you will feel reborn. You certainly will have more money in your pocket. Take that cigarette money and put it aside and reward yourself with a vacation somewhere.

Any takers here? Or if you don't want us to know you are smoking you can just PM Bill and do it with him. Whatever, I just want you people out there to try Bill's challenge.

Bill, I am so excited for you. Keep us posted on your progress.

Maryanne :wink:

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ABSOLUTLY!!!!

I honestly think I am at the point that I could give this a valid try. I have always done better at things when I had to be accountable for my actions. I think your plan sounds right up my alley. I have thought many times in recent weeks to just throw em out the window. My mom said that worked beautifully when I was a child and my parents tossed my bottle and pacifier out the window going down the road. Actually I think the story went, the bottle was thrown out the window, but the pacifer went down the toilet. But in my little mind I knew they were gone. I think my mind is a bit smarter these days and just dont think tossing them out the window will ensure my success. I have contemplated the patch, and still think that may be of help to me, as I want all the help I can get. Most of all though I do believe my mind is ready for this challenge, the time as come.

I have just reread your post to get a better idea of your game plan, and realize you have already begun this challenge and will be starting day 2 today. I will begin on Monday (tomorrow). I think your plan sounds like an excellent idea as I did not see the words "Cold Turkey" mentioned. ALthough for myself I know that to not have my first smoke of the day until 9am would cause me to fail the first day. My days begin very early, 330am usually. And the fact that I am starting a new job on Tuesday which entails me working from home and on the computer for the first 4-5 hrs of my day, I am going to revise the times to fit my schedule better and to again give me a better chance at success.

I would love to see more join in, after all the more the merrier. Maybe we should start a new thread for us to post and for others to watch our sucess.

AS far as wanting to know if you had published anything, you are so right about that being just the natural question when finding out someone writes, sings, whatever...I just love to read, and my deep down secret dream is to write a book myself. When I was in high school I just assumed I would go on to college and major in Journalism, I had never really though of doing anything else. In my Sophmore yr I was on the HS newspaper, and my first "big" printed article in the paper was a interview I did with the first female pilot for Ammrican Airlines. I thought I did an awesome job, as did everyone else (famly and friends really) My teacher though felt a bit different,I will never forget her words...."you do not have what it takes to be a writer"......those few words stuck with me forever and I never persued that dream. The dream is still there, but I am smart enough to know that I just don't have that "way with words". I still have my story to tell though and who knows maybe someday I will find the time to take a class on writing.

Back to the smoking issue...Anyone else ready to give it a go?

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Bill,

I have to agree with Jamie that you "are awsome". I think any former smoker can relate to everything you are going through. Remember that the main thing about cigarettes is the addiction. Plain & simple. Yeah sure, I loved em too, but it was the addiction that kept me going when I knew I should stop.

I wish you and Kim and everyone else who joins you the very best. I'd be happy to help in any way I can.

Joan

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I had to laugh at Kim's post. I did not quit upon diagnosis but the day the pulmonologist told me he did not advise surgery because the loss of lung function to be dibiliating I did exactly what Kim was mentioning. As I drove down the expressway about every 5 miles I would toss a cigarette out the window. The time I smoked the most was early morning so I knew to be successful I would have to quit in the evening. I kept enough smokes to last me until 6:30 that evening and have now been smoke free ... cold turkey ... for almost 7 months. All the cutting back, patches, pills, hypnosis, etc. etc. did nothing to help me quit.

You all might want to consider having a scheduled CHAT time for those that are trying to kick the habit. The support and fellow suffering can be more helpful than you can imagine. Good luck and I will be happy to join in on a chat like that. :lol:

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Hey Bill,

Not to embarass you, but I need to reiterate that you are awesome. I felt compelled to tell you that because of the strength, courage and sincere concern for others that I witnessed in your posts. The last thing I wanted to do was to make you feel uncomfortable. The more you speak to us, the more I feel comforted. Thank you for that!!

TO EVERYONE:

I also wanted to provide some information for those of you that are going to address your smoking issues. My husband has continued to smoke since my diagnosis (BTW-I was a smoker for almost 20 years) and he has had the most difficult time in his quitting efforts. He felt that quitting was the right thing to do considering the situation. He tried many "stop smoking" aids and to no avail was unsuccessful. These included wellbutrin, patches, gum, lozenges, and nictotrol(they look like little cigarettes). The GREAT news is that he finally found something that worked. Three months ago he started taking Chantix. A new prescription drug that just came out in the pharmacy. IT WORKED!! The original doctor that prescribed this to him told him in 12 weeks he would not want to smoke. We are still in amazement at his success. Honestly, there were times during the quitting process that were difficult for him but not to the point that he needed to smoke. I am so proud of him. Not just for quitting but for acheiving the hardest goal he has ever set in his life. At this time, the strong urges are very few and far between. He has re-routed that extra energy and time into special projects because this is a lifestyle change. I support him in whatever he does and he knows that I will always be right there by his side. After all, he has been there or me every step of the way. I think the key to quitting is to never give up. I know that quitting was the hardest thing that I had ever done. Until, I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Then it became surviving. I hope and pray that anyone of you that enters this new journey finds MUCH success and reaches your goals!! And please remember that we are here for you "everyday in everyway"!!!

GOD BLESS!!

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